Stories Filed Under “Inter-Korean Politics”

Solutions to Potential Challenges in a Unified Korean Peninsula: A Simulation

KASM, Sejong,  USKI 2

The U.S-Korea Institute at SAIS, the Sejong Society of Washington, DC , and the Korean American Sharing Movement (KASM) invite you to participate in a unique opportunity to engage with North Korean defector students. The students currently attend universities in South Korea and are visiting Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2015 Washington Leadership Program organized by KASM.

This simulation assumes reunification has already occurred on the Korean Peninsula. Sejong Society and KASM participants will be divided into five groups representing a specific issue within a unified Korean government: Education, Internal Security, Foreign Affairs, Economic Development, and Domestic Politics. Each group will be responsible for identifying various problems and challenges that a unified government might encounter, propose solutions, and present their final ideas to all participants. In the RSVP form below, please indicate your two preferred groups.

This event will allow participants to experience first-hand the unique challenges involved in building a new society through integration and careful planning, and to learn strategies for building consensus.We encourage innovative thinking in developing solutions to potential challenges in a post-reunification scenario.

Friday, July 10th
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Room 500
Bernstein-Offit Building,
Johns Hopkins SAIS  

1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20003

Light dinner will be served 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Please RSVP here:

Communications Internships

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS is currently seeking 1-2 Communications interns. Tasks will include such activities as web content management/updates (multiple websites), social media management, media tracking, writing media advisories and event briefs, email newsletter management, event material preparation, and more.

A successful candidate should have superior writing and editing skills (in English), some copywriting experience a plus, with an eye for design, and should have some experience in the following programs: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator; WordPress (or other web content management systems); social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (forums).

USKI internships are unpaid and interns are expected to work at least 4 days a week.

To apply, please email cover letter, resume and short writing sample to Jenny Town, Assistant Director at Only those chosen for interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Summer Program & Research Internships

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS is currently seeking program and research interns. Multiple positions are open and duties will vary. Some current areas of research include: North Korea political, economic, and social development, North Korean WMD issues, US-ROK nuclear cooperation, US-ROK cooperation in Southeast Asia, US-ROK cooperation nuclear security, US foreign policy to both Koreas, energy security cooperation in Northeast Asia, ROK renewable energy policies, and more.

Interns generally are asked to do a variety of tasks including research assistance, event attendance and reporting, logistical support for events and projects, and other things as necessary. They may work with USKI staff and/or Visiting Scholars on various projects.

Successful candidates should have an interest in Korea and/or East Asia policy and be at least a sophomore in college or higher; graduate students and post-grads are encouraged to apply. Foreign language skills are a plus, but not necessary. Strong writing and editing skillls are preferred. Must be able to multitask, prioitize, meet deadlines, and work well both independently and in small groups.

USKI internships are unpaid and interns are expected to work at least 4 days a week.

To apply, please email cover letter, resume and short writing sample to Jenny Town, Assistant Director at Only those chosen for interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Book Launch: The Two Koreas (Revised & Updated)

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS invites you to join us for the DC book launch for the revised edition of The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Korea uber-analyst and author Robert Carlin discusses the re-release of what many consider the foremost book on modern Korea, Don Oberdorfer’s The Two Koreas. Carlin wrote the updated foreward, bringing this arresting publication, loved by university students, business leaders and public alike, to a new generation of readers. Carlin will discuss the changes on the Korean Peninsula since the publication’s initial release, the publication’s continued relevance, and his labor of love saluting Van Fleet awardee and famed journalist Obderdorfer.

Book signing and reception to follow discussion. Copies of the book will be available for purchase from Politics & Prose. This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Bernstein-Offit Building, Room 500
1717 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC

Teddy Roosevelt and the Taft-Katsura Agreement

Utter the words “Taft-Katsura” to an average American and the response will undoubtedly be a blank stare. But I learned from my years of teaching in Korea that the words “Taft-Katsura” will almost invariably invoke a long discourse from Korean professors and students on America’s betrayal of Korea in exchange for Japanese recognition of U.S. interests in the Philippines. “Taft-Katsura” is engraved in many minds as a key element in the victimization of Korea at the beginning of the twentieth century. ~ Dennis P. Halpin

On August 14, 2013, an article from the Korea Times quoted Dr. Kim Hak-joon, president of the Northeast Asian History Foundation (NAHF), who suggested former President Theodore Roosevelt be stripped of his 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dennis P. Halpin, former House Foreign Relations Committee staff member and current Visiting Scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, examines the history of the Taft-Katsura Agreement in defense of Roosevelt’s legacy.

Download USKI Policy Brief “Teddy Roosevelt and the Taft-Katsura Agreement,” by Dennis P. Halpin.

Dennis P. Halpin is currently a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, U.S. consul in Pusan, and a House Foreign Affairs Committee staff member for over twelve years. 

North Korea Conducts Rocket Engine Tests at Sohae, A 38 North Exclusive

While the North Koreans may have refrained from conducting a nuclear test and subsequent missile tests after their failed rocket launch in April 2012,  recent satellite imagery shows that the North is still continuing development of their missile development and the launch pad at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tongchang-ri). USKI’s 38 North was the first to report on these developments, analyzing imagery from DigitalGlobe. According to 38 North analysts, the North has conducted liquid-fueled rocket engine tests at the Sohae facility as recently as September, and has continuing improvements to the Sohae launch pad. Full analysis and satellite imagery can be found here:

Just after Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term as President of the United States and just a month before a hotly contested presidential race in South Korea, the developments at Sohae have reminded both candidates of why North Korea policy coordination in these new adminstrations is important and of the potential for provocations at the outset of the two Presidents’ terms.

See CNN coverage of the 38 North article here:

Remembering KEDO

USKI’s 38 North and Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) have launched new resources on the history of KEDO to help increase public understanding of what this project was and what it accomplished.

When the South Korean fast ferry Hankyoreh sailed out of North Korean waters into the cold wind and waves of the East Sea on the morning of 8 January 2006, it carried a sad and somber group of South Korean workers, ROK officials, and personnel from the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). These were all that remained of a decade long multinational effort transforming what in 1994 had been only a paper notion into a modern construction complex of steel and concrete. KEDO’s profile on the North Korean landscape was unmistakable, its impact on Pyongyang profound. Yet, real knowledge and understanding about the organization in public and official circles in South Korea, Japan, and the United States was terribly thin at the beginning, and remains so to this day. ~ A History of KEDO 1994-2006

In conjunction with the release of CISAC’s new book,  A History of KEDO 1994-2006–an oral history project meant to preserve what remains of the living memory about KEDO, of the thinking that went into setting up the organization, the efforts to coordinate plans and translate them to realities on the ground in North Korea, and the struggle to maintain a sense of sanity while KEDO was pushed and pummeled into disintegration–USKI’s 38 North launches a new video: “Reflections on KEDO.” In this video, Joel Wit (38 North founder and Visiting Scholar at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS), hosts a conversation with Ambassador Stephen Bosworth (former US Special Representative for North Korea Policy and current Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University) and Robert Carlin (CISAC Visiting Scholar), about their experiences with KEDO. All three were involved with KEDO at different times in its ten year history and provide insights into what it was like on the ground building this multilateral organization. They discuss some of the major challenges in dealing with the North Koreans, as well as the cultural learning curve faced by KEDO’s multicultural staff.  From the perspective of direct experience, they examine both KEDO’s accomplishments and the opportunities missed by the organization’s abrupt termination. In the final segment, Ambassador Bosworth also reflects on the Obama administration’s North Korea policy and provides his views on how to improve relations with the North in the future.


My personal conclusion was they [North Koreans] were very serious about what they were doing—the enterprise that we were involved in. This was not something just being done for show. For them, it was not just KEDO and the Agreed Framework and light water reactors, but it was clear for many of them this was important because it was setting a series of precedents for how North Korea could begin to engage with rest of the world in a more direct and active fashion. ~ Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, “Reflections on KEDO,” a 38 North interview

Find the 38 North video here.